Thai protest leader vows boycott of firms tied to Shinawatras

Anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.

Suthep Thaugsuban, head of the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), yesterday vowed to ratchet up pressure on caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra to step down by launching a campaign to boycott goods and products offered by the businesses of the Shinawatra clan and families of government figures.

He said he got the idea from Luang Pu Buddha Issara, leader of the PDRC's protest site at the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road north of Bangkok.

Suthep dropped by to meet the monk on his way to office of defence ministry permanent secretary where Yingluck used as temporary office.

After meeting the monk, Suthep led the convoy to the office to meet Yingluck but she was away the whole day. There Suthep met the military's representatives. He then told the waiting crowds outside that he told the military not to allow Yingluck to use the place which was built by taxpayers' money.

Suthep called on shareholders of Shinawatra-owned or affiliated companies, such as Advanced Info Service and residential developer SC Asset, to sell their stakes en mass. The anti-Shinawatra business drive was in retaliation for the government's initial plan to make public the names of businesses supporting the anti-regime operations, he said.

Frustrated farmers have also gathered around the compound to continue their demand for payment under the government's beleaguered rice-pledging scheme. Some of them have declared their support for the PDRC's bid to oust the caretaker government.

Suthep and the protesters left the venue and travelled inbound and briefly gathered in front of the office of the government's anti-protest operation, the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order.

They then went to SC Asset building building, formerly Shinawatra 3 Tower on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. They briefly gathered in front of the building and vowed to return today at 8.30am.

He said he would assign 500 protesters to "make contact" with staff in the offices on every floor of the tall building during office hours. "This will be done before the Shinawatra-owned or -affiliated businesses collapse," he said.

Meanwhile AIS chief executive officer Wichian Mektrakarn said in a statement AIS has run its business with careful consideration of investors' interest, dividends and revenues, he said.

Somprasong Boonyachai, executive chairman of InTouch said all businesses under the holding company including AIS, Thaicom Plc and CS Loxinfo were operating transparently.

He said he had no comment on the PDRC's threat to gather outside or blockade the SC Asset building.

InTouch's share price yesterday dropped 1.34 per cent to close at Bt73.75 (S$2.80), while that of AIS dropped 0.91 per cent to close at Bt217. The share price of Thaicom rose 0.63 per cent to close at Bt40, while that of CS Loxinfo remained unchanged at Bt10.50.

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